Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

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How to Build A DIY Fire Pit

Temperatures are starting to drop, but that doesn’t mean you have to head indoors for the winter. To make the most out of your outdoor space all year long, consider building a fire pit in your backyard. A fire pit...

The post How to Build A DIY Fire Pit appeared first on HomeSelfe.


Temperatures are starting to drop, but that doesn’t mean you have to head indoors for the winter. To make the most out of your outdoor space all year long, consider building a fire pit in your backyard. A fire pit...

The post How to Build A DIY Fire Pit appeared first on HomeSelfe.

Temperatures are starting to drop, but that doesn’t mean you have to head indoors for the winter. To make the most out of your outdoor space all year long, consider building a fire pit in your backyard. A fire pit is a functional and attractive landscaping feature that will instantly make your backyard look more luxurious and inviting.

Building a fire pit may sound difficult, but it’s surprisingly simple. Transform your backyard by following these steps to build a DIY fire pit:

Gather Tools and Materials

The first step is gathering the tools and materials you will need to complete the project. Here’s what you will need to build a fire pit:

  • Level
  • Mallet
  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Tamper
  • General purpose construction adhesive
  • Fire pit kit
  • Crushed gravel paver base
  • Concrete pavers

You should be able to find all of these items at a local home improvement store.

Do Your Research

It’s important to do a bit of research before you begin building a fire pit in your backyard. First, make sure that building a fire pit does not violate any local building codes or homeowners’ association rules. You should also find out if you are required to notify your homeowners’ insurance provider about your plans to build a fire pit.

It’s also wise to call your utility provider to determine the location of buried utility lines in your backyard. You need to do this before you start digging so you know which areas you need to avoid.

Mark the Fire Pit Site

The next step is finding the right spot for your fire pit. Once you settle on a location, use paint or wooden stakes to mark out your work area

Then, use the shovel to dig into your work space. You will need to dig about seven inches into the ground to prepare the space for your fire pit. 

After removing about seven inches of dirt, check to make sure the area is level. Then, use a tamper to pack the dirt.

Create A Gravel Base

Now it’s time to build the foundation for your fire pit using. Pour the crushed gravel paver base into the hole. This gravel base should be about five inches thick, so leave approximately two inches of unfilled space at the top of the hole.

Use a garden hose to thoroughly wet the gravel. Then, use the tamper to pack the crushed gravel tightly. 

Check to ensure that the crushed gravel is level before moving onto the next step. If it’s not level, add more crushed gravel to even it out.

How to Build A DIY Fire Pit

Lay the Pavers

Give the gravel base plenty of time to set. Then, begin laying the first layer of concrete pavers. Place the concrete pavers around the perimeter of your work space. Push them together to ensure they are as close to each other as possible.

Make sure the first layer is level before moving onto the next step. If one paver is slightly lower than the rest, use leveling sand to give it more height. If one paver is slightly higher than the rest, use your mallet to gently knock it down into place. 

If the first layer is level, move onto the second layer. Do not secure the second layer onto the first layer yet.

Check the Fit

It’s important to check the fit of the fire pit bowl once you have laid out the second layer of concrete pavers. 

Place the bowl inside the pavers to see if it fits. If it does, remove it and move onto the next step. If it does not fit, make the necessary adjustments and recheck it.

How to Build A DIY Fire Pit

Secure the Pavers in Place

You will need to secure the layers of pavers in place with general purpose construction adhesive. To do this, remove the second layer of concrete pavers. Apply the adhesive to the top of the first layer of pavers. Then, replace the second layer of concrete pavers to secure them in place.

Finish Building the Fire Pit

Most fire pits are built with three to four layers of concrete pavers. After securing the second layer in place, finish building your fire pit by building a third and fourth layer of concrete pavers. 

Be sure to check the fit of the fire pit bowl after laying out each new layer. Do not use the general purpose construction adhesive to secure the third or fourth layer in place until you have confirmed that the bowl fits properly.

That’s all it takes to build a DIY fire pit in your backyard. Once this project is complete, put the finishing touches on your new outdoor space by adding comfortable seating around the fire. Now you’re ready to host an outdoor event for your friends and family!

The post How to Build A DIY Fire Pit appeared first on HomeSelfe.


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